Khordad 18 1399 - June 07 2020
Iran cases hit record high in second wave of coronavirus

Iran is reluctantly confronting the possibility of a renewed political crisis as well as a health one after the latest figures showed the number of new coronavirus infections at a record high. The government appeared to have brought the virus under control a month ago, but a second wave of the virus has steadily been gathering pace. According to data released by the health ministry on Thursday there were 3,574 confirmed new infections in 24 hours - an increase of 440 on the previous day. -Guardian 6/5/20

Iran President Says Coronavirus Restrictions To Be Restored If Warnings Not Heeded

President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday said restrictions will be restored if warnings are not heeded and the coronavirus outbreak peaks again. "People and businesses must take officials' warnings very seriously that there will be another peak if regulations and social distancing are not observed," Rouhani said and warned that restrictions will be restored wherever the virus spreads quickly. 6/4/20

Iran's rapid rise in Covid-19 cases stokes fears of second wave

Fears that Iran is in the grip of a second wave of coronavirus have been reinforced, with the health ministry saying 3,000 new cases were recorded in 24 hours - the highest figure for two months. The Islamic Republic, one of the worst-hit countries in the Middle East, started easing its lockdown in April after a drop in deaths. -Guardian 6/2/20

Iran risks second coronavirus wave if people ignore restrictions: minister

Iran could face a second, stronger wave of novel coronavirus infections if people ignore guidance and social distancing rules, health minister Saeed Namaki said on Monday. The Islamic Republic, one of the worst-hit countries in the region, started easing its lockdown in April after a drop in deaths. -Reuters 6/1/20

Iran says coronavirus figures decreasing, virus being eradicated

Over 88 percent of coronavirus patients have recovered in Tehran, an Iranian official said, adding that the virus is being eradicated in the country. Head of Tehran Coronavirus Headquarters Alireza Zali says the trend of increase in number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities is promising. 5/29/20

Iranian skater Mohammad Nemati dies of Covid-19

Iran national skate team member Mohammad Nemati died of Coronavirus on Tuesday. He has died at the age of 20 in his hometown Mashhad. According to Iran's Health Ministry as of Wednesday the number of coronavirus cases in the country has reached 141,591 with the death toll standing at 7,564. 5/27/20

Getting It In The Gut: Iran Sees Rise In Gastrointestinal Coronavirus Infections

Iran became one of the first coronavirus hot spots outside of China in March when thousands of Iranians began showing respiratory symptoms of COVID-19. Now Iranian doctors say they are seeing a surge of patients with gastrointestinal problems rather than respiratory symptoms. -Ron Synovitz & Maryam Sinaiee, RFE/RL 5/27/20

Iran records 1,787 new COVID-19 cases on May 26

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has infected 1,787 people and claimed 57 lives in Iran in the past 24 hours, a senior health official said. Iran's Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour made the announcement on Tuesday, saying that the number of total coronavirus cases in the country has so far reached 139,511 with the death toll standing at 7,508. 5/26/20

COVID-19: Iran Reopens Religious Shrines After Two Months

Iran has reopened its religious shrines, some two months after closing them due to the Middle East's deadliest coronavirus outbreak. The shrines were reopened on May 25 amid a gradual easing of restrictions put in place to contain the pandemic, which has killed 7,451 people and infected over 137,000, according to official figures. Real numbers are believed to be significantly higher. 5/25/20

Iran: More than 10k health care workers infected with virus

The coronavirus has infected more than 10,000 health care workers in hard-hit Iran, news outlets reported Thursday. In southern Yemen, the virus-related death toll at a medical center run by an international aid group attests to "a wider catastrophe" in the war-torn country, Doctors Without Borders said. -AP 5/21/20

107 Iranian medical staff have died in coronavirus battle

"We are gathering precise data from all over the country in order to know how many people from among medical staff have been infected with the coronavirus or lost their lives in fighting the virus. So far, 792 individuals have been infected and 107 dear colleagues have lost their lives. Let's pray for the patients," Hossein Kermanpour wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday. 5/20/20

US sanctions make it harder to fight COVID-19

As the United States works to contain the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic, resorting to extraordinary measures to limit health and economic damage to its own population, it should also suspend economic sanctions that are making it harder for some countries to fight COVID-19 and keep their citizens safe. -Hrair Balian, Responsible Statecraft 5/18/20

U.S. and Iran Need a Coronavirus Peace Plan

While Americans are rightly focused on handling the coronavirus at home, the government must also remain vigilant to threats around the world. Yet the Donald Trump administration's approach to Iran, in particular, increasingly lacks any clear policy or overarching strategy. The administration is at times threatening and at times conciliatory, giving Iran little sense of what actions the president will take. This could inadvertently lead us to war, and neither the U.S. nor Iran can afford to engage in hostilities that distract us from the pandemic. -Senator Dianne Feinstein, Bloomberg 5/15/20

A health crisis as an incentive to foster regional cooperation in the Persian Gulf?

Iran has been the Middle Eastern epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Islamic Republic was hit early on into the global health crisis. While it is still unclear when and how Iran's 'patient zero' entered the country, it is fair to assume that he or she was part of one of the numerous delegations that kept on traveling between Iran and China even after weeks of the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan. Due to the encompassing US sanctions regime imposed on Iran, China has increasingly become an economic lifeline Tehran simply cannot afford to forego. It, thus, took Iran much longer compared to other states to halt flights to and from China. -Adnan Tabatabai, Responsible Statecraft 5/15/20

Iran reports 2,102 new virus cases, highest in over month

Iran on Friday reported its highest number of new coronavirus infections in more than a month as it warned of clusters hitting new regions. The Islamic republic has struggled to contain the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease since its first cases emerged in mid-February. -AFP 5/15/20

Iran Receives Another Cargo Of Medical Supplies From Germany

An official of the Iranian Customs Organization on Thursday confirmed that a consignment of medical equipment purchased from Germany worth around 749,000 euros (about $800,000) has been delivered to Iran. Speaking to the Islamic Republic News Agency, the Director-General of Customs Office Sadeq Namdar at the Turkish border said the equipment delivered from Germany consists of haematology testing machines, flow cytometry tubes and autoanalyser machine accessories. 5/14/20

UNICEF procures specialized wound dressings for children suffering from EB in Iran

Thanks to the generous financial support of the Government of Germany, UNICEF has procured and shipped to Iran specialized wound dressings for children suffering from EB, also known as butterfly disease. The request was made by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education to UNICEF. 5/13/20

Doctors and nurses died as Iran ignored virus concerns

They are regarded as heroes, their fallen colleagues as martyrs. But for doctors and nurses still dealing with Iran's growing number of coronavirus infections, such praise rings hollow. While crippling sanctions imposed by the U.S. left Iran ill-equipped to deal with the fast-moving virus, some medical professionals say government and religious leaders bear the brunt of the blame for allowing the virus to spread - and for hiding how much it had spread. -AP 5/13/20

65% of Iranian nurses at forefront of corona fight

Some 65 percent of the 200,000 Iranian nursing community has been at the forefront of fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the country, said the deputy health minister for nursing. Maryam Hazrati made the remarks on the occasion of International Nurses Day celebrated around the world on May 12. -Faranak Bakhtiari, Tehran Times 5/13/20

COVID-19: Iran Allows All Mosques To Open Temporarily As Restrictions Ease

All mosques in Iran will reopen temporarily on May 12 in another step toward easing restrictions implemented to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. The decision to reopen the mosques was made in consultation with the Ministry of Health, Iranian state news agency IRIB reported, quoting Mohammad Qomi, the director of the Islamic Development Organization. 5/12/20

Iran locks down southwest county after spike in coronavirus cases

A county in southwestern Iran has been placed under lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Tasnim news agency reported on Sunday, also quoting the provincial governor as saying there had been a sharp rise in new cases across the province. Tasnim quoted Gholamreza Shariati, governor of Khuzestan province, which borders Iraq and includes the county of Abadan, as saying people had not been observing social distancing rules. -Reuters 5/11/20

Global report: Iranian infections rise as France plans for resurgence

New coronavirus infections in Iran have risen sharply since the country relaxed its restrictions on movement, while France has said it will reimpose strict lockdowns if cases surge when it begins to emerge from confinement next week. Tehran on Wednesday reported 1,680 new infections, nearly double the figure four days ago and the highest daily figure since 11 April when it allowed a phased return to work amid fears of economic collapse. -Guardian 5/7/20

As Iran Faces Virus, Trump Admin Fails to Use Swiss Channel to Ease Medical Exports

Just a few days after Iran announced its first deaths from COVID-19 in February, the Trump administration's Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook was asked during a briefing for an update on the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), a payments channel intended to ease the sale of medicine and medical devices by Swiss companies to Iran. Hook acknowledged that no further transactions had been processed since a pilot transaction involving a $2.55 million sale of medication a month earlier, but insisted that there were "more transactions coming."Two months later, over 6,000 Iranians have lost their lives to COVID-19, and the Swiss channel has yet to process any further transactions. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj & Image of Sahil Shah, European Leadership Network 5/6/20

Iran Says It Sent First Exports of Antibody Test Kits to Germany

Iran said it has sent a plane to Germany carrying about 40,000 locally produced test kits that detect coronavirus antibodies. Other countries including Spain, Brazil, Turkey and Ecuador have also requested the antibody test kits, according to a report on the government's official news website, dolat.ir. It cited Behrouz Hajian, the chief executive of Pishtaz Teb Diagnostics Co., which produces the kits. -Bloomberg 5/6/20

Iranian scientists ramp up efforts to improve COVID-19 tests

Hoping to export test kits within months, Al Jazeera reports from inside an Iranian lab that is part of the international push for coronavirus solutions. -Zein Basravi, Al-Jazeera 5/5/20

IRAN: Coronavirus brought healthcare reforms into sharp focus

The coronavirus outbreak proved that one-dimensional health systems cannot survive from health-threatening crises, which occur every few years in the form of infectious diseases, a mere view of treatment is not enough, so that the need for healthcare reforms should be brought into sharp focus. Now that the globe is dealing with a pandemic of such dimension, with the help of transformational measures that have taken place in the country's healthcare, we have been able to take control of the disease. -Faranak Bakhtiari, Tehran Times 5/5/20

Rouhani: US cutting WHO funding hampers global fight against pandemic

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says a recent decision by the administration of US President Donald Trump to stop funding the World Health Organization (WHO) at a time that the world body is fighting a pandemic of new coronavirus hampers global efforts to eradicate the deadly virus. -Press TV 5/5/20

Warning Of A Second Pandemic Wave, Health Minister Says Iran Needs A CDC

While admitting that the official death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Iran has exceeded 6,000, the Islamic Republic Minister of Health warned of a heavy second wave of the disease next autumn and winter. "A relatively heavy attack by a combination of flu and coronavirus is expected in the fall and winter", the Minister, Saeed Namaki, reiterated. 5/1/20

High Death Toll In Tehran Casts Doubt On Iran's Official Coronavirus Numbers

A member of Tehran's City Council has revealed that during the first two months of the coronavirus outbreak the overall death toll in Iran's capital increased by 3,700, compared with the same period last year. Iranian officials have not released the epidemic toll in Tehran, but the nationwide death toll they have announced is just 6,000; too low to account for the increased number of deaths in the capital. 4/30/20

Iranian knowledge-based firms making headway in fighting COVID-19

Five science and technology parks affiliated to the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology described their activities in dealing with and treating coronavirus, the most important of which is the production of herbal medicines and diagnostic kits. A video conference was held on Monday evening with President Hassan Rouhani, Science Minister Mansour Gholami, Vice President for Science and Technology Sourena Sattari, and managers of knowledge-based companies at science and technology parks. 4/28/20

Iranian startups faring even better amid pandemic

The knock-on effects of the coronavirus outbreak have been devastating for nearly the entire global economy but some businesses are faring even better in the new condition. While many struggle to keep their businesses afloat startups like this one are cashing in on the health crisis by offering much-needed medical services. Since the outbreak of the virus, many previously unheard-of health apps have appeared on billboards to jump on the wagon. -Yusef Jalali, Press TV 4/28/20

The coronavirus, Europe, China, and the US's self-defeating unilateralism

It has become a cliche to lament the demise of the rules-based multilateral world order. But Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs introduced an important nuance into this debate at a conference at the Vatican in February 2020, claiming that it is not so much the multilateralism that is being challenged globally as it is the deliberate policy of the United States under the President Donald Trump to weaken it. -Eldar Mamedov, esponsible Statecraft 4/28/20

70+ Groups Demand Trump Immediately End US Sanctions Against Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and Others During Covid-19 Crisis

Over 70 civil society groups representing more than 40 million people called on President Donald Trump Thursday to issue immediate sanctions relief for numerous countries-including Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea-for at least the duration of the coronavirus crisis which threatens to kill thousands in the hard-hit countries. The "urgent appeal" came in the form of an open letter sent by the groups to Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin calling for curtailing the sanctions regime for the duration of the pandemic. -Common Dreams 4/24/20

Iran 'honored' to cut corona deaths to a third amid sanctions: Health Minister

The daily death toll and positive cases of coronavirus in Iran have dropped respectively to one third and 40 percent over the course of three weeks, which is a source of honor for the country amid the tough sanctions, Health Minister Saeed Namaki has said. The Iranian health ministry on Friday announced that the total number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus has reached 88,194 of whom 5,574 have died and 66,596 have recovered. 4/24/20

Coronavirus Threat Rising In Iran As Restrictions Are Relaxed

The Commander of Tehran Coronavirus Combat Taskforce on Thursday warned that adopting a more relaxed approach to social distancing and movement restrictions is sending the wrong message to people, making them believe that COVID-19 has come under control while fatalities are on the increase again. 4/23/20

EU Foreign Policy Chief Regrets US Opposition to IMF Loan Meant to Help Iran Fight Coronavirus

The US has refused to ease any of its sanctions against the Islamic Republic, despite Tehran stressing that they are impeding its efforts to fight the coronavirus outbreak and are limiting the country's ability to buy medicine and medical equipment. -Sputnik 4/23/20

COVID-19: Iran records 1,194 new cases, 94 deaths on Wednesday

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country has reached 85,996, of whom 5,391 have lost their lives to the deadly virus, according to Iran's Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Wednesday. Some 1,194 new cases have tested positive with the virus in the past 24 hours, increasing the total number of infections in Iran to 85,996 since the outbreak, said Jahanpour, adding that 63,113 patients suffering from the novel coronavirus have recovered and been discharged from hospitals so far. 4/22/20

Iran's Health Ministry confirms 1,297 new COVID-19 infections

A spokesman in the Iranian Health Ministry said that 1,297 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease in the past 24 hours which brings total infections to 84,802. He put the number of fatalities during the past 24 hours at 88. This the seventh consecutive double-digit death toll after the country experienced above 100 daily deaths every day before April 15. The total death toll is standing at 5,297. 4/21/20

COVID-19: Iran Loosens Restrictions

Iran has further loosened coronavirus restrictions, opening intercity highways and shopping malls even as the country continues to grapple with the highest number of confirmed cases in the region. The move, which took effect April 20, was an effort to restart the country's economy which had already been faltering prior to the pandemic due to punishing Western sanctions. 4/20/20

Afghan Doctor Fights On The Front Line Of Iran's Coronavirus Battle

Najibeh Gholami was already doing a medical internship at Mashhad's Imam Reza Hospital in February when the coronavirus pandemic reached that home of one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest shrines. An Afghan physician-in-training in her mid-20s, she quickly volunteered to help tend to COVID-19 patients in that northeastern Iranian city. 4/20/20

How Iran could curb COVID-19 despite sanctions, restrictions?

Since the first case of coronavirus was identified in Iran, the country has taken extensive measures to curb the spread of the disease, so that daily death toll has been declining over the past few days, unlike some other countries around the world which are still grappling with high casualties and infection. -Faranak Bakhtiari, Tehran Times 4/20/20

Daily Covid-19 infections in Iran declines: 79,494 infections, 4,958 deaths as of April 17

The Iranian Health Ministry reported that 1,499 new patients were infected with the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, a notable decrease compared with 1,606 in the same period the day before. Over the past 24 hours, 89 new patients have lost their lives compared with 92 a day earlier, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 4/17/20

Iran's Nurses Are Martyrs to Trump's Maximum Pressure

Now, Iran's nurses-the majority of whom are women-are among those bearing the worst of the brunt of U.S. sanctions. Official death counts from the Iranian government aren't broken out by profession and are widely believed to understate coronavirus fatalities. A group of doctors in Iran that has been tracking the deaths of health care workers puts the number of nurses who have died at at least 15 between late February and mid April, but even that almost certainly underestimates the toll as health workers have reportedly been instructed by government officials not to reveal information about shortages, infections, or deaths. -Negar Mortazavi, FP 4/17/20

Iran parliament: Virus deaths nearly double reported figures

The death toll in Iran from the coronavirus pandemic is likely nearly double the officially reported figures, due to undercounting and because not everyone with breathing problems has been tested for the virus, a parliament report said. Iranian health officials offered no comment on the report, which represents the highest-level charge yet from within the Islamic Republic's government of its figures being questionable, something long suspected by international experts. -AP 4/17/20

Iran's daily Coronavirus death toll falls to 92

Death toll from coronavirus in Iran fell to 92 on Thursday from 97 a day earlier. Over the past 24 hours, 1,606 new patients have been identified, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Thursday, ISNA reported. The total number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in the country has reached 77,995, of whom 52,229 have recovered and 4,869 have died. 4/16/20

Over 50% of COVID-19 patients in Iran have recovered and death toll is declining

Some 53 percent of persons who were infected with the coronavirus in Iran have recovered from the disease so far and the number of deaths is on a downward trend. The total number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in Iran has reached 76,389, of whom 4,777 have died and 49,933 recovered. 4/15/20

Iran reports lowest coronavirus death toll since outbreak

Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Iran hit a record low on Tuesday as 98 new deaths were registered over the past 24 hours, the lowest since the virus outbreak in the country. Over the past 24 hours, 1,547 new cases of coronavirus were reported and the total death toll rose to 4,683, the health ministry's spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said. 4/14/20

Stem-Cell-Therapy Proves Effective in Treating COVID-19

Iranian researchers specializing in the cell science have launched a project to use cell-therapy for treatment of the COVID-19 infection, and concluded that the injection of Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into coronavirus patients can be effective in treating the disease. -IFP 4/14/20

COVID-19 in Iran as of April 13: 73,303 cases, 4,585 deaths

The total number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in Iran has reached 73,303, of whom 4,585 have died and 45,983 recovered. Meanwhile, 1,617 new patients have been identified over the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Monday. 4/13/20

Iranian Medical Staff Wearing Masks Speak via Poems on their Suits

A group of medical workers in Iran have been seen in protective suits bearing poems and sentences that bring to mind their relentless efforts in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. Iranian doctors and nurses have been looking after coronavirus patients for almost two months now. They have outfits which are hard to wear; still, some wear suits with poems and catchphrases written on them. -IFP 4/13/20

Iran has handled virus outbreak better than U.S., Europe: President Rouhani

President Hassan Rouhani says Iran has handled the novel coronavirus outbreak better than Europe and the United States, assuring that the country's stocks of basic commodities are replenished better than ever. Iran's death toll from COVID-19 has risen by 117 in the past 24 hours to 4,474, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpour said on Sunday. 4/12/20

Rare voices from Iran's epic coronavirus outbreak tell of stumbling government, deluged hospitals

Iran has been struck by one of the most severe coronavirus outbreaks in the world, but the voices of Iranians affected by the pandemic have remained largely unheard outside the country's borders. The scale of their suffering has been obscured by often upbeat stories about survivors in Iran's official media and by an inscrutable government many suspect is underplaying the toll. -Washington Post 4/12/20

Coronavirus in Iran: 68,192 cases, 4,232 deaths, over 50% recoveries

The total number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in Iran has reached 68,192, of whom 4,232 have died and 35,465 recovered. Meanwhile, 1,972 new patients have been identified over the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Friday. 4/10/20

Coronavirus infection, mortality rate in Iran on downward trend

The number of infections with the coronavirus and mortality in Iran are on a downward trend. Over the past 24 hours, 1,634 new patients have been identified compared with 1,997 in the day before, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Thursday. He added that 117 more people have died during the same period of time compared to 121 on Wednesday 4/9/20

World Health Day: Dedicated medics on front line fighting the invisible enemy

This time, medical professionals have gone far to help patients afflicted by the coronavirus, so the least we can do is supporting them and paying tribute to those putting themselves at risk battling against a dangerous enemy which is not even visible. Since March 25, it is reported that 43 medical staff in Iran have lost their lives due to the coronavirus infection. 4/8/20

COVID-19: Iran Urges IMF To Move On Emergency Loan

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide Tehran a multibillion-dollar emergency loan it had requested to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The outbreak has officially infected more than 64,500 people and killed over 4,000 in the country. 4/8/20

Transatlantic call to ease humanitarian trade with Iran due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Today, a bipartisan group of two dozen American and European national security leaders issue a joint statement urging the US government to ease humanitarian trade with Iran in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. "As the world grapples with COVID-19 - the disease caused by the novel coronavirus - we must remember that an outbreak anywhere impacts people everywhere. In turn, reaching across borders to save lives is imperative for our own security and must override political differences among governments" the authors write. -European Leadership Network 4/7/20

COVID-19 in Iran: 62,589 Infections, 3,872 Deaths as of April 7

The total number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in Iran has reached 62,589, of whom 3,872 have died and 27,039 recovered. Meanwhile, 2,089 new patients have been identified over the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Tuesday. He added that 133 more people have died during the same period of time, ISNA reported. 4/7/20

Iran-made coronavirus test kits, ventilators, anti-viral masks to hit market

An Iranian university researcher says domestically-developed coronavirus diagnostic test kits, light-weight ventilators and virus-killing facemasks will soon enter the mass-production stage. "Diagnostic kits, anti-coronavirus masks and light ventilators developed by researchers at Shahid Beheshti University will soon be mass-produced and put on the market," Babak Shokri, research deputy at the university in the capital Tehran,said on Tuesday. -Press TV 4/7/20

Sanctions are crippling Iran's fight against coronavirus

To many of us urban administrators in Iran, the onslaught of coronavirus has underscored an important fact of life: no town, city or nation can be indifferent to global crises, even in far-flung corners of our world. Indeed, while the mantra of good governance over the past century has been to "think global, act local", we must today think and act both locally and globally. -Pirouz Hanachi, Guardian 4/6/20

US: Ease Sanctions on Iran in COVID-19 Crisis

Broad US-imposed economic sanctions are negatively affecting the Iranian government's ability to adequately respond to the mounting health consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The US should take immediate action to ease US sanctions and expand licensing of sanctions-exempt items to ensure Iran's access to essential humanitarian resources during the pandemic. -Human Rights Watch 4/6/20

Iran producing favipiravir for first time to treat coronavirus: Senior doctor

Iran has produced favipiravir for the first time as it continues its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, says the head of Iran's Masih Daneshvari Hospital, which is one of the leading medical centers treating patients with the new coronavirus infection in the Iranian capital. Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati, who is also a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, made the remarks in a meeting with the medical staff of the hospital on Sunday. -Press TV 4/6/20

Iran's COVID-19 situation will greatly change in coming days: Health minister

Iran's health minister has said that the country's international standing in regards to containing the coronavirus outbreak will "greatly change" in coming days. "Due to advances in our diagnosis capability, we have been able to identify more COVID-19 cases in the country," Saeed Namaki said late Thursday. "Signs of their recovery will further emerge in the following days; this will completely transform Iran's situation on the world stage," he added. -Press TV 4/3/20

Biden joins fellow US Democrats in call for easing Iran sanctions

Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden on Thursday called on the administration of United States President Donald Trump to ease economic sanctions on Iran as a humanitarian gesture during the global coronavirus pandemic. The former vice president said the US has a moral obligation to be among the first to offer aid to people in need regardless of where they live when confronting a virus that knows no borders or political affiliations. -Al-Jazeera 4/3/20

Iran's Coronavirus Stats as of April 2nd: 50,468 infected, 3,160 dead

The total number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in Iran has reached 50,468, of whom 3,160 have died and 16,711 recovered. Meanwhile, 2,875 new patients have been identified over the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Thursday. Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has tested positive for COVID-19, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) reported on Thursday 4/2/20

COVID-19 outbreak in Iran exposes twisted aims of Iran hawks

The COVID-19 outbreak in Iran is a disaster for the Iranian people, with thousands already dead, tens of thousands more infected, and medical professionals working around the clock at profound risk to save as many lives as they can. Any American living through the pandemic should be able to sympathize, knowing that the Iranian people are dealing with the same struggle against a deadly virus, though one that is rendered far more difficult thanks to crushing U.S. sanctions. -Ryan Costello, Responsible Statecraft 4/2/20

Iran medical body writes to Guterres, slams UN inaction on cruel US bans

The Academy of Medical Sciences of Iran has written to the UN to complain about the world's body failure to push for the lifting of cruel US sanctions at a critical time when the Islamic Republic is fighting a deadly coronavirus pandemic. In a letter addressed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the Academy's President Alireza Marandi criticized the UN and its affiliated organizations for taking "no effective measures" to ease the restrictive US measures, which are hampering Iran's fight against the fast-spreading disease. -Press TV 4/2/20

COVID-19 and Iranian-American Relations

In recent weeks, Iran's suffering has been dramatically heightened by four converging disasters. The first is the multiplying deaths caused by COVID-19. Iran's health ministry grimly estimates that one person dies from the virus every ten minutes and 50 are infected every hour. By March 31, over 44,000 Iranians had been infected and almost 2,900 perished, making Iran the locus of one of the highest cases and deaths due to this scourge. The second disaster facing Tehran results from the intersecting costs of massive corruption and pervasive economic inefficiency. The coronavirus could be the proverbial last straw that breaks Iran's oil-dependent economy. -Daniel Brumberg, Arab Center, Washington DC 4/2/20

Iran Says U.S. Sanctions Are Taking Lives. U.S. Officials Disagree.

As Iran struggles with a devastating coronavirus outbreak, a broken economy and a severe shortage of medical equipment, it says that American trade sanctions are taking Iranian lives and has called for the United States to lift them on humanitarian grounds. Iran's plea is gaining traction around the globe, winning support from allies like Russia and China, but also the European Union, the United Nations secretary general, rights groups and nearly three dozen members of Congress, who have appealed to the Trump administration to suspend the sanctions for as long as Iran is battling the coronavirus. -Farnaz Fassihi, New York Times 4/2/20

Sizdah Bedar 1399: Iranians advised to stay home on Nature's Day due to epidemic

The thirteenth day of the Iranian calendar month of Farvardin is traditionally marked in Iran as Nature's Day, or Sizdah Bedar as the day is known in Persian. The annual festival is an opportunity for people to picnic outdoors with family and friends and enjoy nature. But not this year! And the coronavirus pandemic is to blame. Iranian officials have instructed people to skip celebrating Nature's Day and to continue staying home due to serious health threats from the new coronavirus. 4/1/20

Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, Omar Lead Lawmakers in Calling for Lifting U.S. Sanctions as Iran Reels from Coronavirus

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) led nearly three dozen lawmakers in urging the Trump Administration to ease sanctions against Iran, as the country suffers from a major humanitarian crisis triggered by COVID-19. The letter comes just two weeks after the Trump Administration levied additional sanctions against Iran in the midst of the pandemic, which has to date killed more than 2,600 Iranians. 4/1/20

Afghanistan braces for coronavirus surge as migrants pour back from Iran

More than 130,000 Afghans have fled the coronavirus outbreak convulsing Iran to return home to Afghanistan amid fears they are bringing new infections with them to the conflict-ridden and impoverished country. The huge spike in Afghans crossing the porous border from Iran, in one of the biggest cross-border movements of the pandemic, has led to mounting fears in the humanitarian community over the potential impact of new infections carried from Iran, one of the countries worst affected by the virus. -Guardian 4/1/20

Iran President hails public compliance with social distancing measures in coronavirus fight

President Hassan Rouhani has expressed his gratitude to the Iranian nation for their cooperation with a crisis task force set up to manage the nationwide battle against the coronavirus pandemic, saying public support has played a key role in the government's plans to fight and curtail the outbreak. In total, 44,606 Iranian have contracted the disease and 2,898 have died as of March 31st. 3/31/20

Iran Gets Medical Aid Through U.S. Sanctions Workaround

Germany, Britain and France have facilitated exports of medical goods to Iran in the first use of a mechanism designed to get around U.S. sanctions, Germany said Tuesday. A German Foreign Ministry statement Tuesday did not specify what type of medical supplies were involved, nor any companies that were part of the action. 3/31/20

Iran begins use of plasma for COVID-19 patients

As the proportion of patients infected with COVID-19 continues to rise in Iran, Masih Daneshvari Hospital in Tehran is facilitating access to COVID-19 convalescent plasma for use in patients with COVID-19 infections. This is while a number of the medical staff in the hospital are among the plasma donors who have been infected and have recovered recently. 3/30/20

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